Whether it comes from a sleek Asian bistro or from a mom-and-pop joint, fried rice has got to be one of the most popular Asian dishes here in the States. It’s also popular across Asia from khao phat in Thailand to sinangag in the Philippines, each dish was probably born of the need to use leftovers.
I’ll be making fried rice much in the style you might get from a Chinese restaurant. There are a few ‘secrets’ for successful fried rice at home. While we’ll probably never be able to replicate the huge seasoned commercial woks fired by massive burners, we can get it pretty close. This recipe is a foundation to which you can add or omit whatever vegetables/meat that you may have on hand-that’s the purpose of fried rice. I actually added a cup of cooked chicken that I cut into cubes but I just wanted to outline the basic recipe below.
The first secret is to cook the rice at least a day beforehand and leave it in the fridge until you’re ready to use. Freshly cooked rice is very steamy and sticky and will not give you the results you are looking for. You want the rice grains to be as fully
separated as possible with no big clumps going into your pan/wok.
The next secret is to cook everything separately first, and not to attempt making a huge batch all at once. It’s also advisable to get everything chopped and prepped before you start cooking because this dish goes very quickly once you begin.
I’ve outlined this recipe in the sequence that I like to cook fried rice, first the vegetables:
1 T peanut oil
1 T sesame oil
4 pressed garlic cloves
1″ square of ginger, grated
1 medium onion, diced
2 small carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 c. frozen peas, thawed
Heat the oils in a wok or large (12″+) pan over fairly high heat. Once the oils are very hot, but not smoking, add the vegetables and cook while shaking the wok and stirring. Cook until the onions are a little soft, about five minutes. Remove vegetables from wok and wipe carefully with a paper towel. Now on to the eggs:
2 eggs, beaten
cooking spray, if needed
Add the eggs to the wok and cook until they’re firmed up. Remove from the wok, roughly chop and set aside. Once again wipe the wok with a paper towel to assure there’s no burnt bits on the next step. The next step is the rice:
1 T peanut oil
1 T sesame oil
4 c. cold cooked rice
2 T oyster sauce
2 T soy sauce, and more for serving if you wish
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped scallions for garnish
Get the oil good and hot again and add the rice. You’ll toss/shake/stir well and cook for a few minutes. Mix the oyster sauce and soy sauce and add it down the edge of the wok, not pouring over the rice. Stir very well to get an even coating of the sauce on all of the rice. Add the vegetables and chopped egg back in and remove from the heat. Stir very well to combine all ingredients and taste for seasoning. Serve immediately with chopped scallions as your garnish.